Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, George Venizelos, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and William J. Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today the arrest of JOSEPH P. DWYER and RONALD G. BUELL on charges that DWYER, a private investigator often retained by Court-appointed attorneys in the Southern District of New York, paid bribes to BUELL, then an NYPD Officer, so that BUELL would access a confidential federal law enforcement database to obtain personal information about potential witnesses in federal criminal cases. DWYER was also charged with mail fraud for improperly billing the Criminal Justice Act fund—which provides public funds for indigent defendants—in connection with the bribery scheme. DWYER and BUELL were arrested this morning, and presented this afternoon in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, private investigator Joseph Dwyer bribed NYPD officer Ronald Buell for confidential reports from a federal law enforcement database, and, at least in some instances, asked the public to foot the bill. Private investigators assisting criminal defendants can—and should—do many things to serve their clients, but bribing law enforcement officials for confidential data is not one of them. Any private investigator who pays such a bribe, and any law enforcement officer who accepts one, should expect to be prosecuted.”


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